How to Become a Hairdresser

Seeing the results of your work after you become a hairdresser can often be a rewarding experience in this career field. If you have a passion to style and sculpt hair, then when you train to become a hairdresser, this career will more than likely payoff for you. However, anyone considering entering the beauty industry as a hairdresser must still examine the career field from every aspect. Within the following article, you will learn the basics of what it takes to getting qualified as a hairdresser. This article describes the nature of work for hairdressers, training and other qualifications needed and expected salary ranges. This article will also explain the employment outlook for hairdressers.

Nature of Hairdressing Work

There are a variety of services that hairstylists, cosmetologists and hairdressers provide to customers. Beauty services within this field include shampooing, conditioning hair and coloring services. Cutting hair for clients often involved cutting the hair to the desired length, cutting split ends, and cutting hair in the desired style.

Knowing how to sculpt and style hair in the latest fashions is also vital for hairdressers to know. Yet, they must also have a working knowledge of older styles for those that require them. Hairdressers may often give clients advice on how to take care of their hair when they are at home and on the go. They may give advice to clients on what to do in the event of a hair emergency. Hairdressers also advise clients on how to style or wrap their hair for work purposes. Hairdressers are vitally important for special events like weddings and large business meetings.

Hairdressers may also provide permanent and semi-permanent hairstyles like permanent waves, straightening and styles like dreadlocks. A few hairdressers may offer hair extensions, weaving, and interlocks. Other hairdressers may offer restorative services for damage hair.

Hairdressers work directly with clients in close-contact situations. Hairdressers must have adequate physical health to allow them to work on their feet each day. Therefore, you must have a solid supply of endurance and be able to provide excellent communication skills to understand the needs of your clients. The hairdressing field of work also requires the employee to have excellent hygiene.

Specialized Hairdresser Training

Those that become a hairdresser may also obtain specialized training in cosmetology or have a barber’s license, which may give them the opportunity to provide additional services like manicures, pedicures, and be able to provide styling and cleaning services for wigs and hair pieces. Barbers and cosmetologists may also provide facial and scalp treatments, as well as beauty advice for problem skin areas.

Hairdresser Training and Qualifications

The first rule of thumb for hairdressers is to acquire a high school diploma or GED. Next, you will need to attend an accredited cosmetology school. The school’s accreditation must derive from the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts & Science (NACCAS).

While attending the school, you will learn everything that you need to know about beginning hair cutting procedures. You will also receive hands-on training in more intricate styling procedures. You will also learn the basics in hair coloring procedures and treatment methods. Furthermore, you will also learn how to avoid costly mistakes and how to prevent potential damage to the clients’ hair or scalp while applying chemicals.

You also need to obtain many hours of hairdressing practice. This will require you to obtain an internship at a local hair salon that has an accredited cosmetology license. Hairdresser apprenticeship training at the hair salon should last between six months to one year in length.

You must obtain a mandatory license to become a hairdresser within any state. You must also understand the applicable laws that govern the beauty industry. You can receive training at local vocational schools, private academic schools, and some public post-secondary schools.

Next you will need to get ready to take the state licensing test. This cosmetology-based exam will have three separate sections. The sections include a multiple-choice section, a written section and a performance section. The performance section will allow you to demonstrate hair cutting and styling methods that you have mastered during your internship and training at the cosmetology school. An evaluator will watch your procedures and score your work.

Not only will your hairdressing school provide you with study materials, but you can also obtain additional study materials from reputable online resources, software study guides, and books on how to become a hairdresser. Once you have taken the state required test at the assigned testing center and you have passed, you will receive your state licensing in cosmetology and can become a hairdresser.

Expected Salary for Hairdressers

Variations in income are due to the size and locality of the salon where you work. Different variations in your income are also linked to the tipping habits of your clients and local competition of other salons and barber shops within a five mile radius. Your ability to attract steady clients will also determine how much you will earn on an annual basis.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median hourly wage for hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists in May of 2008 was slightly over $11 per hour. This hourly wage also included tips and commissions. An hourly wage of nearly of $8.50 to over $15 per hour was the estimated wages for the middle 50 percentile. Furthermore, the lowest 10% earned nearly $7.50 per hour, while the highest 10% earned almost $20.50 per hour.

The median-annual income for skin care specialist, including tips, was a little over $24,000, according to for 2004 data. However, manicurists and pedicurists earned an average income of $18,499. Shampooers, according to earn slightly over $14,600.

Entry level positions within the beauty industry usually have a lowered pay rate per hour. However, more experience cosmetologists earn at an higher wage level. Once hired on a full time basis, some employers will offer medical and paid vacation benefits after your initial probation period ends. However, if you are self-employed or work part time, these benefits are not generally provided.

Job Outlook for Hairdressers

When you become a hairdresser you may desire to work in an upscale salon in a larger metropolitan location, due to the fact these locations offer better work environments and higher pay. Even so, positions within these locations are expected to increase, according to However, due to the increasing demand for personal appearance services, the general need for licensed cosmetologist is on the rise. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the employment demand for personal appearance workers, barbers and cosmetologist is expected to rise more rapidly on average that all career paths.